Man in Afghan uniform kills 3 US troops in third attack in four days
A MAN in an Afghan uniform shot and killed three American troops yesterday in southern Afghanistan, the US military command said.
It is the third attack on coalition forces by their Afghan counterparts in a week. The Taleban claimed the gunman joined the insurgency after the attack.
Yesterday’s shooting took place in Sangin district of Helmand province, said US military spokeswoman Major Lori Hodge. She gave no further details and said the military were investigating.
The exact details of the attack remained unclear yesterday, and there were conflicting accounts. Mohammad Sharif, the governor of Sangin, said the shooting happened at a police checkpoint after a joint meal and security meeting, but an Afghan army commander, Farooq Parwani, said that the attack happened on a US base.
The US military said it was also not clear whether the attacker wore an Afghan army or police uniform.
Taleban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said the attacker, whom he identified as a member of Helmand police named Asadullah, had joined the insurgency after his attack. Mr Ahmadi said the man had been helping US forces train the Afghan Local Police troops.
So far this year, there have been at least 21 similar attacks, in which Afghan forces or insurgents disguised in Afghan uniforms have turned their guns on international troops. Such attacks have killed 30 coalition service members, according to an Associated Press tally.
In 2011, there were 11 so-called “green on blue” attacks and 20 deaths. In 2007 and 2008 there was a combined total of four attacks and four deaths.
The US is hoping the Afghan Local Police will be a key force to fight the insurgency after most international troops withdraw.
On Tuesday, two gunmen wearing Afghan army uniforms killed a US soldier and wounded two others in Paktia province in the east.
On Thursday, two Afghan soldiers tried to gun down a group of Nato troops outside a military base in eastern Afghanistan.
No international forces were killed, but one of the attackers was killed as Nato forces shot back.
Yesterday, Nato said another coalition service member died after an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan. It gave no further details. The death brings to 19 the number of coalition troops killed this month.
Elsewhere in Helmand province, six civilians were killed yesterday when their car hit a roadside bomb. Helmand police official Mohammad Ismail Khan said the bomb killed three children, two women and a man.
Meanwhile, the US government identified four Americans who were killed on Wednesday in a twin suicide attack in Afghanistan’s east.
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